Complaint Category: Sales presentation misrepresented the service
Complaint: The company was misleading and deceptive with their travel services in order to get us to sign up. Things are not as they were presented to us.
We bought in to this company because we thought we would use it for two specific trips we had in mind in the future. We were under the impression and sold on the fact that all the condos would be like 4 and 5 star resorts and they had access to all the major timeshare companies condos. We tried to book a vacation condo for a trip that is 6.5 months away and they had no availability at first. Something finally came available and the place that they tried booking us at is pretty dumpy and not to the standards that we were sold upon. The agent said that this would be the only place that we would be able to stay at - there were no other options for other condos. What happened to all the other timeshare companies condos that they were able to access? We thought that booking a vacation condo wouldn't be so difficult and we bought it specifically to "save money" on this trip. The company headquarters say that they have someone working on trying to find us another place for our vacation, tell us that they will call us back the next day, and we have heard nothing.
In order to get us to their place of business, they offered a "free 4 day, 3 night vacation stay" through a company named Grand Incentives out of Florida. This has been a nightmare in and of itself. The vacation has so many rules and restrictions and black out dates that it almost makes it impossible to find a time to travel. Global Travel Network is highly misrepresented when they deal with a company such as Grand Incentives who fail to follow through with their offer. We have had a difficult time contacting this company, correspondance was missing and delayed, and it seems like they would respond to the people at Global Travel Network, but not the customers themselves. This should have been the first sign that we were dealing with a scam.
Business' Initial Response
In regards to the *******'s Membership Concerns I noticed two specific complaints:
1. "We thought that booking a vacation condo wouldn't be so difficult": When a member submits a request they are told that they **** be contacted within 7 to 10 business days by a condo agent. Here is an outline of the correspondence from when ******* contacted us
April 2 - Their request was processed for a Vacation to Oahu Hi. (Oahu is a location that Global does not currently own property, so we are limited as to what is available through our external vendors.)
April 2 - An Agent offered a One Bedroom unit at the Royal Kuhio for the closest check-in date that we had access to at the time.
April 3 - ******* spoke to their Agent displeased with the quality of the Royal Kuhio, their Agent let ******* know that condos don't have star ratings and that we do get VERY nice condos all over and offered to check a different Island for them ******* declined.
April 10 - ******* was contacted again and offered an unit checking in one day after their requested check-in date. They declined the offer, and were placed on a wait list for a different resort to open up.
April 15 - **** called and asked if the unit offered was still available, their Agent placed it back on hold.
April 16 - The member declined the offer and was placed on a Wait-List for any openings that might become available.
I am unaware of what the *******'s expectations were, however they were contacted quickly, and offered property as well as options in a timely manner. Please keep in mind that Global's Statement of Understanding states that, "request are fulfilled on a first come, first serve basis and all vacations are offered on a space available basis." I don't show any notes on their account regards a call back. If ******* can provide us with the date of that call I can research that claim.
2. "They were under the impression that all Condo's were 4 and 5 star Resorts": As previously mentioned Global strives to maintain, and offer high quality resorts most of which could be considered "4 or 5 star resorts". However we do access and offer units at resorts that are not owned or managed by Global Connections. This was the case with the Royal Kuhio, if units are not well kept we do not book our members there. When offering these units we rely on many things including member input. In reviewing a few Vacation Survey's submitted by member's, each gave the Royal Kuhio an overall 4 or 5 star rating(See attached). There is nothing in our contracts, or paperwork to suggest that we guarantee that every unit offered will be a "4 or 5 Star Resort".
In Regards to the *******'s Promotional Vacation Offer:
1. "Rules and Restrictions": While at our office ******* was presented with some different options in connection to the promotion. The certificate they chose was explained to them, and they indicated that they were satisfied with the certificate before leaving the office.
2. "Grand Incentives...fail(ed) to follow through with their offer": The member indicated that they had a hard time contacting Grand Incentives, and indicated that there was missing and delayed correspondence. Here is an outline of the correspondence:
Feb. 12 - Global's CSR assisted ******* in submitting their certificate adding some flexibility to the Certificate.
Feb. 18 - Grand Incentives received the Registration Form.
Feb. 21 - Grand Incentives mailed out a Planning Form.
March 18 - ******* contacted Global's CSR stating that they didn't receive their Planning Form. A copy was requested and then emailed to *******.
March 25 - *******'s Planning form was received, and placed in order it was received for processing.
April 16 - ******* contacted Global's CSR to get an update for their Dates.
April 17 - Grand Incentives indicated that they had not received it, or that it had not been processed yet (It takes 30 days for processing paperwork).
April 20 - ******* provided the Certified mailing code and Grand Incentives indicated that it was received and that it was in processing.
April 21 - ******* called Grand Incentives and was told that her paperwork was being processing.
April 22 - *******'s planning form was given to an Agent to research and travel quoted.
April 25 - ******* called Grand Incentives and was told that her paperwork was in processing. ******* then called again wanting her deposit refunded.
April 26 - Grand Incentives called ******* and apologized and told her that they are not outside their timeframe, and that she would have been given arrangements on April 25.
******* was assisted and supported through her request and promotion quickly and within the guidelines set forth.
******* was offered property within the given time frame, at a resort that member's gave a high rating to. ******* is on our wait-list, if another unit becomes available it will be offered.
Grand Incentives was and is willing to book them for their desired destination, and will upon request provide booking information to *******.
Global Travel Network
Consumer's Final Response
We have not yet had time to respond to this case.
In response to concern #1 - yes, we were contacted in a timely manner after we put in a request for a vacation condo in Hawaii. However, my complaint is that there was ONLY 1 option, only 1 place on the whole island to book at (according to your agent). During the sales pitch, the saleman showed us pictures and testimonials of people who have been to Hawaii specifically, and the places they stayed at was what we were hoping to stay at also (yes, good sales tactic). We were offered the option of being put on a wait list, which I agreed to. When something else came up, it was for the same place, different dates. GTN said that "we are limited as to what is available through our external vendors" yet, in our presentation we were told that GTN had access to all the condos of all the major condo/timeshare companies. If they didn't have something available, then these other companies would and GTN promised that they would do anything they could to find us a place. So far, we have been told that our only option was this one low-quality condo. I understand that all requests are filled on a first-come, first serve basis, but certainly, if what we were told during our presentation was true, then they should have access to several more options in Hawaii and certainly, not all the condos in Hawaii are booked 6 months in advance. We have never called back to place the condo unit on hold. I don't know where you got that information from.
In response to the second complaint: We were told in our presentation that all the condos were 4 and 5 star resorts. There may have not been anything written in the contracts about it, but your salesmen used that as a selling point with us which was very deceitful.
In regards to the complaint about the promotional vacation company, we are working them separately. When they were made aware of this complaint, they were quick to call me directly to discuss the complaint and do anything they could to resolve it. Unfortunately, we have not seen the same response from Global Travel network.
They had presented to us that there were several high quality options in Hawaii that we could stay at. We felt led on that there would be many options and our investigation of the company have shown others that have felt this same way. We will not feel satisfied until they fulfill our expectations, which were created upon the sales presentation and information that was given ther
Business' Final Response
Below is Globals Response to *******'s Rebuttal:
1. "That there was ONLY 1 option, only 1 place on the whole island to book at": Once again ******* initialed on Global's Statement of Understanding that they understood, "request are fulfilled on a first come, first serve basis and all vacations are offered on a space available basis." The Condo Agent who offered property to ******* searched our inventory as well as our external sources and offered what was available. Which was a "member rated 4-5 star" resort. *******'s Condo Agent also offered to look at other Islands but ******* Declined.
2. "We were told that GTN had access to all the condos of all the major condo/timeshare companies": Global does access inventory using the major exchange companies, however the inventory needs to be accessible through the other companies that we work with. We exchange all the time, when members ask for something and we cant get it, it is because there is either nothing there, it is not resort location with only hotels, or most of the resorts are privately owned.
3. "GTN promised that they would do anything they could to find us a place": Your Condo Agent used all of their resources to find an available unit for you.
4. "We were told in our presentation that all the condos were 4 and 5 star resorts.": We are not a Resort Specific company, and due to the fact that condo resorts are almost never rated by The Star Service, The Official Hotel Guide, OAG Travel Planner, or The Hotel and Travel Index. We simply search any given destination and give you a choice of what is available, if there is a resort that our members have told us is declining in their service, atmosphere, or other way we will discontinue offering that resort to our members until we see that things have changed.
5. "They had presented to us that there were several high quality options in Hawaii that we could stay at.": The resorts that were shown at the presentation, were ones from our website and are options for future vacations, granted that we have availability.
If ******* would like me to search for the next available unit at a resort listed on the website we would be happy to assist.
Once again *******'s request was fully assisted according to statement of understanding. We are happy to assist ******* in booking any future vacations that they have.